It is almost Christmas Eve. Everyone is feeling the limitations of this week which will prevent a lot of celebration.
Our Christmas morning service will still be held in the grounds of Eastview Methodist Church and we have planned for an open air service. This will be the last service we have at Eastview for 2020.
We have taken a decision not to hold any services
during the month of January 2021.
The reason is simply that an increase in the “spike” of infections is expected after the Christmas/New Year holidays. We will endeavour to communicate via whatsapp, email and the You Tube video site. (RevPaulBester-Youtube.com)
You may also tune in to the Glen Methodist Church services broadcast at 09h00 on the Glen Methodist Church facebook. I will be conducting that service live on 31 January 2021 from The Glen Church. I am grateful to The Glen Ministers and Leaders for the privilege. Please pass on this information.
It is Christmas Eve 2020
It was on the Eve of Christmas that a guiding star appeared directing worshipers from the East to the Infant Jesus. You may be aware that there will be a lovely light in our skies this evening. In pre-scientific days it could have been interpreted as a new star. It is the conjunction of our 2 greatest gas planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn. The orbit of Jupiter around the sun takes 12 earth years and the orbit of Saturn is about 29 years. Periodically they align in their orbits with the earth and so are viewed as two very bright objects very close together. This can look like “a new star”. Enjoy the viewing. Look to the west after sunset. With a pair of good binoculars, you may even see 4 of the Jupiter moons. Share the experience with your children.
Christmas Eve Family Devotion
For your Family devotion on this eve of Christmas you may use Matthew 2:1 -12. The passage has several devotional messages and you can be led in your own devotional thoughts as the words speak to you about the birth of Jesus, or the purpose of the birth, or the worship of the Child, or the deviousness of a despotic Ruler. After all, there is nothing new about Herod, is there?
If you have children as part of your devotions, try to share with them something of the beauty of stars.
Some appropriate verses to share with children is: Psalm 8:1 – 5. It speaks of children praising God (v2) and just as the beautiful stars in the Heaven speak of God’s greatness, so do we as mothers, fathers and children praise God for all His greatness.
Attached is a little pamphlet for the children with a picture of the star nearest to our sun, and a little Christmas exercise which they can colour in each time they do something loving for someone else.
So, dear Friends to summarise:-after Christmas morning there will be no services at the chapel in January 2021. We hope and Pray it will not be long before we can see each other again. In the meanwhile set the example by caring for others, the protocols are simple and clear.
I share with you two prayers for Christmas. The first is by John Suter who was Dean of Washington Cathedral.
Prayer for Christmas Eve
Send, o God, into the darkness of this troubled world, the light of your Son: let the star of your hope touch the minds of all people with the bright beams of mercy and truth; and so direct our steps that we may always walk in the way revealed to us, as the shepherds of Bethlehem walked with joy to the manger where he dwelt who now and ever reigns in our hearts, Jesus Christ our Lord.
I also share a second Prayer for Christmas Day, by the Welsh poet Henry Vaughn
I would I were some bird or star,
Fluttering in woods or lifted far
Above this inn,
And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to Thee.
I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for Thee! Or that my heart
Were so clear as
Thy magnet was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, Thou canst make clean.
Sweet Jesus! Will then; let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born on earth.
The Lord Bless and keep you all in His Peace and in His Grace.